I woke with the whisper-image

Of a mass of wind-swept golden curls,

Awash in desert sand

And boyish sweat,

Dirt and motorcycle grease


Then, there was “The Grin”

Huge and dopey.

Mouth corners would

Upward turn

Evolve into a crooked smirk

Then, unable to contain the mirth

A beautific smile would emerge,


Warm like Sunshine, from ear to ear.

Followed by a throaty chuckle.

A voice, teasing, taunting,

Deep for a young boy

Full of joy and abandon

Promising adventure,


Daring me to mount his bike,

Wrap my arms around

His sweaty, shirtless torso,

Rest my cheek against his

Naked, sun-bronzed back.


“Yeah, no,” 

I dismissed him.

“My hair will get

Messed up.

And I’m wearing a skirt.

You’re not wearing a shirt.

And you smell.”


“Girls like it,” he teased.

He revved his dirt bike,

Loud, Loud, LOUDER

Ignored my grimace.


His grin widened.

He pulled my hair,

Punched my arm,

Brushed his fingers

Against my cheek

Winked, as I slapped at his hand.


“Girls think I’m cute.”

“In your dreams,” I scoffed.

“In yours,” he said.

Then, just like that

He was gone.


The whisper-image clouded,

Spun, twisted, turned, then cleared.

Fast forward several years


Now, a young woman

Alone, on a stoop.

The concrete cold and unyielding…

“Like my future,” I thought.

Staring into cold winter’s night

The glare from the lamp lights

Sparkling diamonds on damp grass.


He walked out of the party

A black knight with a

Golden aura.

“Didn’t recognize you

In a shirt…” I quipped

“You can take it off,” he offered.

“Pass.”  I rolled my eyes.

“Shame,” he teased then grinned.


We sat there, listening

To the sound of our breathing

Watching as each exhale

Danced and mingled in the cold air.


“So, a baby…”



“Virgin Birth.”








We sat in silence

Watching snow.


“You know…”, he said.

“Nope,” I said.

“I could be your hero…

Rescue you…” he said.

“Yep, still nope” I said.


More silence.  More snow.


“You know…” he began.

I shook my head,

Rested my cheek

Against his hand.

Resisting the panic

To be saved.

“It’s okay,” I say.

“I’ll be okay…”

Then, once more, with conviction,


Will be.



More silence.  More snow.


“Dunno,” you said.


I do know

That Girls think I’m cute.”

“Oh, for heaven’s sake…

In your dreams…” I smiled.

He tugged my hair

Lightly punched my arm.

Kissed my hand

And then ever so quickly

Brushed his lips

Against mine.

Stealing a kiss.

“In yours,” he laughed.

“Incest,” I retorted

To the only kiss

Ever shared.


Then, just like that

He was gone.



Years passed

Life changed,

I changed.

Wondered if he had changed

Hoping not.

Wondered if he was happy.

Hoping so.

Wondered how his surname

Would sound with my given


Laughed at my momentary lapse

Rolled my eyes; shook my head.

Wondered at the ‘What if’s…”

What if… I had said yes?

Then, I tucked the ‘what if’s’

Back where they belonged

And locked the file with a sigh.


It was enough to know

That somewhere

He continued to Be

And just maybe

Smiled, sometimes,

At the memory of me


I heard the other day

In the most

Casual of ways

That he had gone.


Inexplicably bereft

I excused myself

And left.

Made my way

Into another room

Caught my breath


For things I might have shared

Like loving him

All these years.


Now, just like that

He was gone.


I dreamt last night

Of deepest purples and blackest blacks

Rolling and turning,

Blotches of color pushing and splitting,

Each color melding with itself

But never with the other.

Our last dance. 

A chance to say goodbye.


Sometimes, I see his smile

The twinkle of his eyes

Among the night sky.


“The angels think I’m cute,”

I hear him say.


“In your dreams,” I whisper into air.

Just like that, he answers back.

“No, in yours.”









Submitted: June 05, 2023

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